Fuel efficient cars in Pakistan – a possibility?
IT ALL started when a group of young lads launched an audacious effort to leave an impression on the face of Shell Eco Marathon having a history that nearly stretched over seventy years. And within these years, not a single Pakistani team had ever participated. But history is meant to be rewritten and records are meant to be broken thats what inspired these lads to take on this task. The challenge was colossal but the passion of being green and representing green amongst other nations was overwhelming. These lads called themselves “Team Burraq”. But mere words were not enough; they had a steep uphill task to complete. The team started off to make Pakistans first fuel-efficient car, the one of its kind.
Adequate time and proper financial assistance were required to complete this project in the best possible way but unfortunately both lumped against them. Everybody was unsure of the end result, even we had qualms about the success of this project but sometimes passion has a funny way of trumping logic. It was July 2009, that proved all these critics wrong and “Team Burraq” from Pakistan Navy Engineering College became the first ever Pakistani team to participate in Shell Eco Marathon. Pakistans first fuel efficient vehicle “Burraq” successfully ran down in its maiden appearance on the Euro Speed track, Germany.
Apart from on track performance the participants exhibited Pakistani culture in a phenomenal manner. Their “Kurtas” and traditional “Bhangra” rocked the circuit. Their outstanding spirit and interaction with other participating teams won them 2nd place in the Best Team Spirit award beating 200 teams from 29 different countries. Moreover, the “Team Burraq” was among 10 other teams that were featured in the official picture of SEM Europe. This was one heck of a
performance that earned Pakistan immense pride and unprecedented esteem.
The “Team PNEC” is the third variant of Team Burraq and belong to Pakistan Navy Engineering College (PNEC) which is a constituent college of National University of Science and Technology (NUST). We are looking forward to participate in the third edition Shell Eco Marathon Asia which will take place at Sepang Circuit Track, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in July 2012.
Worlds oil reserves are running out and most of the worlds automobiles are running on crude oil derivatives. Thus the growing energy crisis has a direct effect on the automobile sector. For this reason, Shell International took an initiative in the form of Shell Eco Marathon that motivates students from around the globe to come together, use their intellect and innovation to seek out a possible solution of worlds energy crisis. Shell Eco Marathon has been designed in the form of a competition in order to get the best out of the participants. The competition features couple of fuel-efficient vehicles from different teams striving to travel the maximum distance against a liter of fuel. The competition is further divided in two categories. In Prototype
category, teams are to design and manufacture a vehicle focusing on the futuristic needs of fuel efficiency. While in Urban Concept, a fuel efficient vehicle is designed for more realistic and urban environment.
In order to deal with the criticalities of both categories two sub-units have been formulated out of “Team PNEC “. “Team BOLT” has been handed over the responsibilities of Urban Concept and “Team BALLISTA” is dealing with the Prototype category. The purpose of these sub teams is to lay proper focus on respective categories and to perform multiple numbers of simultaneous tasks in order to save time. While working in a team, one learns to shun egoistic attitudes and count on each others strengths for greater good. “Contribute and value others contribution.” Remember we PNECIANS were the pioneers, who opened the way of Shell Eco Marathon to other Pakistani teams. This put us in more intense situation, not only to perform well against the participating teams around Asia but to perform even better against other Pakistani teams participating in SEM. We have to be on our toes all the time to reach to top of our work and we are well aware of this fact.
Being a Pakistani team, we have to face technological and financial scarcity. We generally do not have enough funds to carry out our campaign in a smooth way. There always remains uncertainty about the completion of the project. As SEM is a costly venture to participate and needs proper financial assistance. But people in our part of the world are reluctant to put money in something whose outcome is not known. Companies have been hesitant, when requested to provide sponsorship for the said educational event. We urge the concerned authorities to step up and support such sort of activities to promote innovation and habit of research among Pakistani students.